ASSET’s ScanWorks for Intel platforms speeds structural and functional test on prototype and production circuit boards

Test without booting, extensive diagnostics to bit-level of memory

The newly enhanced processor-controlled test (PCT) tool on ASSET® InterTech’s ScanWorks® platform can perform structural and functional test, as well as diagnostics, in one pass and still achieve the high test speeds required on manufacturing lines. ASSET is a leading supplier of software and hardware debug, validation and test tools based on embedded instrumentation.

“Test execution speed is especially critical in manufacturing settings, but also in design,” said Larry Osborn, ASSET’s product manager for ScanWorks PCT. “We’ve accelerated PCT to the point where a full suite of tests can be applied on a production line with minimal impact on the line’s output. Depending on the complexity of the circuit board, ScanWorks PCT can perform shorts-and-opens testing, functional test and diagnose the causes of faults all within six to eight minutes on a more complex Intel® Xeon® design. That’s significantly faster than alternative test methodologies.”

ScanWorks PCT is able to quickly test and diagnose on-board memory, a common problem on Intel platforms. The faster test execution speeds of the PCT tool allow memories to be tested down to the bit level on Intel Core™-based platforms and to the rank level on Xeon circuit boards without disrupting the flow of a manufacturing line. Since Xeon-based boards typically have more much complex memory architectures, more time is needed to identify faults to the bit level. Even so, ScanWorks PCT can find these bit-level faults by employing additional diagnostics, but this is usually performed offline from production lines.

In addition, the PCT tool can test a circuit board without bringing up its BIOS or UEFI firmware. This is important since booting adds time to the test execution process and a board with BIOS or UEFI initialized is more difficult to accurately test. For example, if a lane or two on a high-speed input/output (I/O) bus on an Intel platform fails to train properly during system initialization, the system will simply disable the failing lane, but the bus will be reported as operational despite its significantly diminished throughput. ScanWorks PCT identifies all lanes that fail to train properly.

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